Large US law firms take a step backwards on diversity

January 3, 2011 US law firms seemed to be moving in the right direction on diversity issues, hiring more women, people of color and people with disabilities, until the recession caused the industry to over 5,800 lawyers' jobs.

The proportions of women and minorities at major law firms fell in 2010 for the first time since industry analysts began collecting demographic hiring data in the 1990s.

Though the figures show a fairly small reduction in diversity, with each category losing less than one percentage point, some commentators fear long term damage to the quest for diversity within the industry as the current crop of associates moves toward partnership level.


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